August 1998
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Adventres in Maturity

By Gordon Dymowski

I would like to discuss an activity that usually gets a lot of bad press, and that a lot of people complain about when it's done. It's something that, well, most adults either don't do or do way too much.

I'm talking, of course, about whining.

Now, I'm not talking about Andy Rooney-esque whining, when you know he's only doing it because his Depends are leaking, or even Roseanne- esque whining, when she's only doing it for attention. Hell, I'm not even talking about the kind of whining that happens regularly on talk shows, where the host pretends to care.

Sometimes, doody happens. (I'm trying to keep this relatively obscenity -free, folks). It's natural to want to complain and moan when things don't go your way. Hell, I've done it. I admit it - I'm a little whiny boy. Ultimately, most people give it up and move on. Whining is our way of letting go of stuff.

However, I do want to talk about two extremes: first is the person who does nothing but whine and bemoan their fate, and play the victim. Hate to tell you this, but people who play the victim - usually, it's for control. Trust me, I've played the victim many times in my life, and you know what? It sucks. All it's gotten me is tons of isolation, and feeling really tired.

The other extreme is the Ted Nugent-esque, "Get over it and be tough." Yeah, right. You try going through tough times without whining. Let's face it, most people who complain about those who "play the victim", usually do so silently. You get over stuff eventually, but it takes time. Sometimes, forever.

Here's what I do: every day, I give myself ten to fifteen minutes to obsess on my fate. Just complain, moan, and feel like my life is going down the same road as Todd Bridges' career. What usually happens is, after ten seconds, I go, "Screw this - it's time for pie!"

Whining - it's your right. Don't abuse the privilege.

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